Saturday, September 10, 2022

Three poems by j.lewis

mother macduff

she stands her ground
in somber royal blue
confronted by a coalescence
of coals and smoking sulfur
waits for him to speak

waits until the hissing steam
dissipates away from yellow eyes

lips move and in her mind she hears
nothing she wants, everything she fears
accusations and prophecies
of pain, of trials, of early death

his words shadow the promises made
around this child who swells
beneath her golden waist-chain
who turns, then stills

he will untimely come
but he will not come yet

not for babylon

i watched him sit and weep
there by the river
and i thought that certainly
he was remembering babylon
of egypt's flesh pots
maybe the day the manna stopped

what i could not see
through my preconception
was that he cared nothing
for biblical trials
hanging gardens
or divine sustenance

he only knew his pain
and pitiful impotence
against nature's indiscriminate fury
that made a river rise
to swallow his family
in front of his helpless eyes

only for you

there is violence involved
in existing only for you
a tearing away from others
and future,
burying alive
memories that will not die
not of their own volition
memories that breathe
seduction and betrayal into dreams

if i am not violent
how can i confront
confound and conquer
the inevitable distractions
the dalilah deceptions
that would strip me of the strength
that binds me to you

despite your best objections
love is and must be violent
there is no gentle victory
in this battle that i wage
to love only you

j.lewis is an internationally published poet, musician, nurse practitioner, and Editor of Verse-Virtual, an online journal and community.  When he is not otherwise occupied, he is often on a kayah, exploring and photographing the waterways near his home in California.  He is the author of four full length collections and several chapbooks.  More information can be found at

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